Teaching Young People Philosophy: Background information when reading Four for the Road

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Four for the Road

by K J. Reilly

Four for the Road by K J. Reilly X
Four for the Road by K J. Reilly
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  • Published:
    Aug 2022, 288 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Jane McCormack
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About this Book

Teaching Young People Philosophy

This article relates to Four for the Road

Question mark drawn in chalk on pavement above a pair of black-and-white sneakers In K.J. Reilly's coming-of-age novel Four for the Road, main character Asher Hunting is fortunate to have an insightful sidekick to advise him. Will has suffered loss just as Asher has, but Will presents as more equipped to navigate his way through his grief. Early on in the book, Will recites Kierkegaard to Asher, noting that the philosopher believed that "everyone suffers from a deep kind of despair over their existence." While Will's uttering could be dismissed as nerdiness or quirkiness, and it might seem strange to some that a teenager would steep himself in abstruse schools of thought, the study of philosophy may be just what young people need.

At various critical moments in the work, Will is able to reason with Asher regarding his reckless plot to kill Jack Daniels, the drunken truck driver who killed Asher's mother in an automobile accident. Whether Will is spouting pop-culture philosophies from The Godfather or adages from Oprah, he is able to steer Asher away from poor...

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